Guns and Butter

Eisenhower was “Supreme Allied Commander” in WWII…..seems like he knew exactly what he was talking about when he made these pronouncements against militarism, and defense spending. I have a real hard time understanding why nothing is ever mentioned about the unbelievable cost of our current wars. The Republicans are constantly talking about our national debt, and yet it’s never pointed out that taxes were cut during a time of war, and the war costs were never covered in the budget. Why is that!! ?

Amplify’d from www.theatlantic.com

The Tyranny of Defense Inc.

In 1961, Dwight Eisenhower famously identified the military-industrial complex, warning that the growing fusion between corporations and the armed forces posed a threat to democracy. Judged 50 years later, Ike’s frightening prophecy actually understates the scope of our modern system—and the dangers of the perpetual march to war it has put us on.

“Every gun that is made,” Eisenhower told his listeners, “every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.” Any nation that pours its treasure into the purchase of armaments is spending more than mere money. “It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.” To emphasize the point, Eisenhower offered specifics:

The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities … We pay for a single fighter with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.

Yet in Cold War Washington, Eisenhower’s was a voice crying in the wilderness. As much as they liked Ike, Americans had no intention of choosing between guns and butter: they wanted both. Military Keynesianism—the belief that the production of guns could underwrite an endless supply of butter—was enjoying its heyday.

Read more at www.theatlantic.com

 

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Published in: on January 6, 2011 at 12:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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